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Process of religious conversion in the Catholic Charismatic movement: A qualitative analysis

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The study deals with a religious conversion of members of the Catholic Charismatic movement. This movement is characterised by the integration of those aspects of spirituality, which draw on traditional religious life as well as on the spirituality of new religious movements. The consensual qualitative research was used for analyses of thirty stories of personal conversions from the members of this movement. The stories were described in a public bulletin, published by the movement. They were analysed in regard to the precedents of conversion, course of conversion and the consequences of conversion in personal life. The results of analysis showed that the typical process of religious conversion in this movement is preceded by some contact with religious issues in childhood and experiencing some problem in the period before conversion. The conversion is stimulated by meeting a religious person and attendance at prayer meetings, which lead to the experience of God's presence, and a cognitive insight into religious matters. Consequences of conversion include radical changes in spiritual life, increasing subjective well-being, improving social life and solving the antecedent problem. The results are discussed with regard to the previous theories and research on religious conversion as well as their limitations originating from the nature of the data.


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